February 1, 2004 Volume 10, Issue 29
fomenting religious strife,
SLFP-JVP alliance was signed on January 20 at the auspicious hour.
an interview with the Sinhala media, JVP spokesman, Wimal Weerawansa is
reported to have had on January 18, said that the JVP was not a Marxist
party but a Buddhist one. "It was founded in 1965 on Vesak Day and has
been shaped and formed by Buddhist culture and not Marxism."
Weerawansa could have had the temerity to make such a claim shows the utter
contempt the JVP has for the intelligence of the Sinhala people. Werawansa
wants us to forget the brutal and bloody carnage the JVP inflicted on the
Sinhala people during Mrs. B's first innings and during JR's second innings.
He pretends that such things never happened!
JVP has taken a deadly new tack. Weerawansa says "the main aim of the
alliance with the SLFP is to give the country something it has called for
but never got since 1505. The new alliance is a political journey to achieve
a revival of our pre-1505 culture."
1505? That was the year when the Portuguese first came to Sri Lanka. What
they left behind 150 years later, was the Roman Catholic faith firmly
entrenched in our country. To go back to a pre-1505 Sri Lanka would require
the total eradication of every trace of the Catholic religion in Sri Lanka.
All churches would have to be destroyed.
attacks on churches have begun. No one knows how many churches have so far
been attacked and torched. Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratne, in a recent TV chat
show, stated the figure was over a 100!
is very easy to foment religious strife but it is difficult to crush it.
Buddhism has always prided itself on the fact that it has never been
embroiled in religious strife with other faiths, unlike Christianity,
Hinduism and Islam. Now the new alliance is planning to end all that.
in order to further his political ambitions, found it necessary to create
strife between the Sinhalese and the Tamils. His daughter, CBK, for exactly
the same reason, has now become head of an alliance which plans to alienate
the Catholics from the Buddhists, risking a bloodbath in the process.
the people of Sri Lanka, the Sinhalese, the Tamils, the Moors, the Malays,
Burghers, the Buddhists, the Hindus, the Catholics, the Christians of other
denominations, the Muslims, and the free-thinkers must all get together and
raise our voices and cry out against this new madness. Politicians should no
longer be allowed to ruin the country for their selfish purposes.
Bahadur de Silva
conversions - a few questions
is in response to the article "Making a case against conversions"
by Risidra Mendis and Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema which appeared in your
issue of 4 January.
similar articles are based on so called "unethical conversion."
When reference is made to 'unethical conversion' it implies that there is
something called 'ethical conversions' too. Can the writers or any other
person clarify what the unethical conversions (and if possible, ethical
conversions, as well) are? Where are we going to draw the line between
'unethical' and 'ethical' conversions?
often we refer to conversion from Buddhism to Christianity. But what are the
numbers? So far no one has provided statistics from authentic sources in
this regard. In the circumstances could anybody provide numbers of each
religion as per the censuses taken during the last 50 years or so? This will
help to identify the magnitude of the problem.
talking about conversions we forget about other conversions, e.g. political
conversions. Can we say all political conversions are ethical? Aren't there
allegations that politicians change party for monetary considerations? Some
such 'conversions' have had far-reaching effects - even changing
governments. Are these ethical? Why do we bother only about religious
conversions? It is a pity that the politicians have to pass laws to prevent
article refers to ".embrace a foreign religion.". Can we honestly
say Christianity is the only foreign religion? For that matter almost all
the religions including Buddhism came from foreign countries. In the whole
world only a very few countries can talk about a 'local' or 'native'
sends SOS for doctor!
the premier telecom service provider is currently undergoing a severe case
of congestion. Even though it offers services like conference calls, lowest
IDD rates, broadband, etc. the parent body is suffering. This severe case of
congestion does not allow a user to dial up even 121 to report a failure,
call up a person in the same city from point A to point B, does not inform
about broken connections / phones..but somehow keeps the body and soul
together to provide fancy bills bearing heart stopping rates to its customers.
successful applicant doctor will have guaranteed permanent
employment with SLT. So
apply via phone with full credentials. Of course you may have a hard time to
reach us - we are suffering from a severe case of congestion.
drive - a veritable deathtrap
Marine Drive from Wellawatte to Bambala-pitiya could be a veritable
deathtrap for the old, middle-aged as well as the young, who for years have
found it a convenient stretch of road for their morning constitutional.
municipality has failed to set speed traps or speed limits on this road
which was recently macadamised. Motorists using this drive seem to be in a
mighty hurry with one foot permanently ramming the accelerator. The walkers
keep to the right facing the oncoming traffic, and beyond the white
guideline on the margin. But errant/demoniac motorists cross the middle line
to overtake other vehicles and drive recklessly on the right, brushing past
sincerely hope this letter catches the eye of the traffic police and that
immediate action is taken.
also suggest that the municipality puts up name boards for all the lanes at
the Marine Drive end as well, for easy identification.
thousand hurrahs to you for your relentless pursuit of justice, decency and
good governance, even at the risk of your own life, as evidenced again and
again through the columns of your paper. Your editorial of January 25,
spotlighting the pathetic state of ethics at all levels of governance in SL
today, deserves a special round of applause. The amazing irony is how Prime
Minister Wickremesinghe can continue to remain so impervious to the
mountains of filth around him, even lending patronage to it, and yet claim
to be Mr Clean!
should also mention my admiration for your columnist Frederica Jansz who
seems to share in full measure your commitment to a corruption free
is a source of encouragement and hope, that even as the voices in defence of
clean government are heard less and less across the land, your voices
continue to be heard, loud and clear, above the encroaching silence.
Mayor Prasanna Gunawardena in association with the Sri Lanka Tamil Women's
Union celebrated Thai Pongal with Deputy Mayor M. Azath Salley, municipal
councillors, municipal commissioner and other staff participating at his
official residence on Thai Pongal day.
welcome gesture was intended to promote communal harmony and was applauded
by everyone present.
can this class of breadwinners
is a class of breadwinners who don't seem to exist such as the likes of
senior citizens who clamour for a higher rate of interest. If their savings
can be shown as terminal benefits, will the finance minister grant exemption
from withholding tax to those receiving a monthly interest of over Rs. 9000
and not exceeding Rs. 25,000 from one bank, if they can show proof from
relevant government authorities that it is their only source of income.
class they are oblivious of, comprises women who have been driven to
self-employment because they have hardly ever enjoyed a spouse's salary and
never enjoyed any accrued benefits such as pension, EPF, ETF or gratuity.
They have laboured valiantly and assiduously to keep the home fires burning
and to give their children a fair chance in life. Without indulging in
luxuries or what is surely their birthright, they have also managed to save
against old age and illness so that they can live in dignity and not be a
burden even to their children.
monthly interest might only just exceed Rs. 9000. They might have also
suffered other catastrophes and received no compensation. But in spite of
all odds they have made it. How can this category be recognised for the
benefits which some senior citizens think is their prerogative? And how is
the finance minister going to accommodate them?
- a landmark
breakthrough in the Thilanga Sumathipala episode is a landmark in the
history of investigative journalism. I am indeed proud of your commitment to
a cause of righteousness.
Canada I usually browse through the Sri Lankan newspapers on the internet.
The only newspaper that caught my eye was The Sunday Leader. I was really
enthralled by the manner in which your editorials were written on Thilanga
Sumathipala's antics. Thereafter I never missed your editorials. You have
left no stone unturned to bring the miscreant to the clutchesof the law. I
really admire your valiant stand despite obstructions by various interested
parties to counteract your undaunted efforts. It is a remarkable achievement
where a newspaper has valiantly stood out to expose the misdoings of an
individual who had all political support.
about unethical conversion
let me salute our President for the most unbiased and courageous statements
she had made in the recent past against the Buddhist extremists who try to
destabilise the government for their narrow political gains.
thinking Buddhists know that all this fuss about unethical conversion is a
storm in a tea cup. The manner in which our Buddhist monks are behaving with
regard to this issue is degrading. The world can see on TV and in newspapers
that it is the monks who are at the forefront of any strike or procession. I
would like to warn these monks that the common masses are losing their
respect for them who have become a threat to civilised society and the
look up to the monks for advice and spiritual guidance, but it is a shame
that today laymen have to instruct monks on how to behave in society.
ordinary Buddhists have learnt during the past few months that though many
churches and NGOs were attacked, Christians have not retaliated and borne
the many accusations with patience. Many Buddhists are showing respect to
the Christian clergy for their behaviour which is lacking among Buddhists.
their accusations of unethical conversions do not stop what will eventually
happen is that we will lose more Buddhists who will embrace Christianity
with conviction and get converted 'ethically.'
cohorts and salmon eaters
me a little space in your esteemed journal, which enjoys a reputation for
forthright comment to express my views as a non card holder of any political
party. I hate to be taken for a sucker by self serving politicos, who live
in luxury at the expense of millions pretending to serve but in effect
on her own admission that she is a good actress mentioned in the course of a
talk show on ITN that SB was no confidant of hers. Perhaps she has
forgotten, hence may I jog her memory? A few years ago Maithripala Sirisena
was officially selected to be the general secretary and when the election
day dawned SB ran with the baton. CBK was as jubilant as SB and Sirisena who
has no self respect now acts as her lap dog. What has CBK got to say? I
trust the man who sings for his supper will give the country an answer.
the words of CBK, self centred politicos could not care less even if
lightning strikes the nation, for their only concern is only power and
Lokuge, a Sri Lankan writing from Oslo refers to a statement made by a below
mediocre fog horn that we Sri Lankans cannot expect any better from a nation
of salmon eaters who have turned into international busy bodies, referring
to the Norwegians.
this arrogant fog horn who is still smarting having lost his ministerial job
for which he was unsuitable has attempted to deride the Norwegians without
presumably not knowing the world ranking that the Norwegians enjoy and in
the process made Sri Lanka a laughing stock of the world.
are plenty of men of the calibre of Milinda Moragoda, Lakshman Kadirgamar,
Jayantha Dhanapala to name a few who stand out as shining ornaments amidst
mediocrities of the calibre of Mangala Samaraweera.
court jester found a place in Newsweek in its December 29/ January 5 issue,
presumably to poke fun at Sri Lankans quoting him with such heavyweights
like Donald Rumsfeld and Dr. Mahathir Mohamed. Adverting to the right of CBK
to continue till 2006, a celebrity from the PA who has left an indelible
mark in the WTC and the Ministry of Health had asked the voters to go to
courts to ascertain whether the public perception that she has to go in 2005
in terms of the law is correct or not.
if morality is a factor, she should have quit after December 2001 as she who
led the campaign from the front was routed.
sheep in Cricket Board
the infamous betting scandal, the ICC warned all countries to refrain from
electing bookies as officials on cricket-boards.
disappointingly to the horror of many, a bookie was elected president with
the blessings of the government. To the amazement of the public the same
bookie is involved in many a crime, thus scandalising the Cricket Board.
there are many thick-skinned black sheep involved in the board none have the
courage to resign.
it is left to the government to call for their resignations.
General Don Sepala Attygalle is a name synonymous with greatness and this
was perceived in his disposition, academia and professional stature.
achievements were diverse in nature as is popularly known. He was an old boy
and created history at Royal College, Colombo. He became the head prefect of
the school in 1940. He won colours in both athletics and rugby and was
elected senior sergeant of the cadet contingent. With his appointment to the
Sri Lanka Army as a second lieutenant he carried out his duties and served
his country with diligence and valour. As a result he was appointed
Commander of the Army in 1967.
retired from the army in 1977 as a four-star general. After retirement, he
held such appointments in the government sector as additional secretary,
Ministry of Defence, secretary, Ministry of Defence, high commissioner for
Sri Lanka in the UK, chairman Airlanka and chairman, Airport and Aviation
Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd. His valued service was much appreciated by those
who knew him in these various capacities.
of the best testimonials a former principal of Royal College, E.L. Bradby
gave for those seeking King's Commissions was to D.S. Attygalle. He took the
Sword of Honour at the army passing out parade at Diyatalawa in 1941.
his academic and career achievements, his personal influence engendered much
enrichment. Those closest to his heart endorse his humility and
self-effacing ways. Life to him proved to be a book of lessons, with every
experience being an opportunity to enhance himself further. And these valued
lessons were readily imparted to his kith and kin. His family was his
priority. He was always very dutiful and carried out his responsibilities
towards each one with loyalty. He may no longer be with us, but we as family
members have learnt from his life that we can live to the maximum potential
of our being only if we attain sincerity of character and love for our
Attygalle was to us the embodiment of the following lines from H.W.
of great men all remind us
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